A couple of big games tonight including that 1 vs 4 matchup with Duke against Purdue, and Northern Iowa against Michigan St. I must have missed this article the first time round, but thanks to Chris Brown at Smart Football, here is a unique, scientific look at the importance of shot arc to shooting percentage from the New York Times.

A few very interesting quotes to consider.

Height of where the ball leaves your hand matters:

In a classic study in the 1980s, Peter Brancazio, then a physics professor at Brooklyn College, determined that adding two feet to the height at which a shot leaves the player's fingers increases the success rate by a whopping 17 percent. No wonder you see so many jump shots.
So what exactly is the optimal launch angle with the least amount of force:
Brancazio explains that you need 45 degrees plus half the angle formed by a straight line between the position of the ball at launch and the basket. Depending on your height and where you are on the court, that typically ranges from 7 to 14 degrees. Thus, for a shot leaving your hands at eight feet above the floor from 18 feet out, you'll want to launch the ball at a bit more than 48 degrees. For most players at a distance of 10 to 25 feet, the least-effort angle ranges between 47 and 52 degrees.
Finally, the perfect shot angle for free-throws is:
Using that system, you can calculate the ideal free-throw angle. It's 13.75 feet from the free-throw line to the center of the basket, and a 6-foot player launches the ball from about seven feet above the hardwood. That works out to a shooting angle of 51 degrees.
Last but not least, backspin matters:
Free-throw success is also improved by adding a little backspin, which pushes the ball downward if it hits the back of the rim. The North Carolina State engineers calculated the ideal rate of free-throw backspin at three cycles per second. That is, a shot that takes one second to reach the basket will make three full revolutions counterclockwise as seen from the stands on the player's right side.

Have fun watching the games tonight...